Wesbild Donates One Million Dollars To Improved Nature Park

The City of Coquitlam announced today that outdoor enthusiasts are already enjoying the new and upgraded trails, amenities and park spaces at the expanded Harper Park on Burke Mountain, with improvements funded entirely through the nearby development.

Major changes at the nature park off Harper Road in the Smiling Creek neighbourhood have been under way since 2019, including a 4.4-hectare (10.8-acre) extension west of the 6.6-hectare (16.2-acre) park, and about $1.5 million in improvements by area developers, Wesbild and Infinity Properties, whose residential projects border the park.

While the work has approached completion over the last few months, hikers and walkers have been out exploring the new trails, bridges and other amenities as they have become available. The final touches, such as plantings and interpretive signage, have been installed this week.

“The Harper Park project is a great example of how we are leveraging growth to bring benefits and improved services to the community,” Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said. “This is a great addition to Coquitlam’s natural assets, and gives our residents even more opportunities to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of exploring the outdoors.”

Improvements Funded by Development

The agreement reached with Wesbild and Infinity Properties has brought one larger, improved passive park to the growing Smiling Creek neighbourhood, rather than two smaller parks previously planned for the area.

The City owns the park extension site, but over $1 million in improvements were funded and built by Wesbild as part of $4 million in community benefits it is providing to develop housing south of the park.

The park project includes 620 metres of new trails, a pedestrian bridge over Smiling Creek linking the two sides of the park, rest areas, picnic tables, and interpretive signage and creative features reflecting Burke Mountain’s natural beauty and logging history for users to explore.

“We are really excited about the addition of this natural park to the community of Burke Mountain,” Wesbild Senior Vice-President Development Lilian Arishenkoff said. “This is the fifth park Wesbild has built in partnership with the City of Coquitlam on Burke Mountain. Parks are key to creating community and we believe the Harper Park expansion is truly special with its natural features and historical legacy.”

About $450,000 in improvements to the original park footprint have also been funded and built by Infinity Properties as part of its agreement with the City. Infinity’s contribution has included significant trail upgrades, construction of two pedestrian bridges, native plantings and seating.

“At Infinity, we believe in creating Authentic Places that enhance livability,” said Josh Turner, Development Manager for Infinity Properties. “The opportunity to help improve the outdoor amenity space at Harper Park is a perfect example of how our team was able to enhance the area through the improvement of natural spaces for local residents to enjoy.”

Area Heritage Represented in New Features

The expansion project retains most of the natural forest and highlights Burke Mountain’s logging history, railway and forest features:

  • Burke Mountain was logged throughout the first half of the 20th century, facilitated by increased railway access in the 1920s. One of the original railway beds, named the Flywheel Trail, is still visible. The historical significance is recognized by a railway-themed pathway, and an interpretive sign highlights the area’s logging history.
  • Logging operations on Burke Mountain began in the early 20th century, when Dr. Robert Dollar extended a railway line from Port Moody to Burke Mountain. The railway extension crossed Hyde Creek and Coast Meridian Road, before following what is now known as Harper Road. The feature trail of the park is built on the remnants of this line.
  • The mature forest that towers over visitors is an example of the resilience and richness of the ecology of Burke Mountain. Clear-cut logging and fires in the early 20th century removed most remnants of the old growth forest, which included some trees over 1,000 years old. An interpretative sign detailing the forest succession on Burke Mountain is located in the park beside a heritage stump.

The original Harper Park site can be accessed off Harper Road or the north end of Argyle Street. Access to the extension to the west is provided from Highland Drive to the south, and along the Harper Road multi-use pathway along the north-east boundary.

Additional information and project updates are available at www.coquitlam.ca/parkprojects.


Sheffield Park – Planning Begins

The City of Coquitlam is encouraging Burke Mountain residents to weigh in on options for a new neighbourhood park. Sheffield Park is approximately 2 acres in size and is located at the heart of the Smiling Creek neighbourhood at Sheffield Avenue and Chandler Street.

The survey – which will open later in August – will prompt feedback from residents on features such as:

  • A water play area;
  • A washroom building;
  • A play area for younger children (ages two to five) that could include a dome play structure, slide and sand pit;
  • A play area for older children (ages six to 11) that could include a larger play structure, swings and slide;
  • A multifunctional youth area (ages 11 and up) that could include a basketball hoop, ball hockey net, skate area and terraced seating;
  • Table tennis for youth, adults and seniors;
  • A pathway system with several cardio walking circuit options;
  • Open lawn areas for picnicking and other informal uses; and
  • Gathering spaces, seating areas and a terraced lawn area.

Public feedback collected will inform the park’s detailed design, which will be developed over the fall and presented to Council for approval ​in early 2021. Construction is anticipated to begin in ​Spring 2021.

For more information, visit coquitlam.ca/sheffield.

Feedback Wanted: Northeast Coquitlam Community Centre

The City of Coquitlam wants your input to help plan the future Community Centre on Burke Mountain! 

The future Burke Mountain Community Centre will be in the Village Centre, at the heart of the Burke Mountain community. The City is looking for input from all residents of Burke Mountain, specifically those with children.

Send your answers to the questions below to:

Tiina Mack
Manager of Recreation and Culture Facilities Planning
Parks, Recreation and Culture | City of Coquitlam
Email: tmack@coquitlam.ca

1. What do you believe are the top 3 needs for community centre programming in Northeast Coquitlam?

2. What do you believe are some of the challenges preventing residents in Northeast Coquitlam from feeling connected to the community?

3. What services do you believe NE Coquitlam residents need access to, in order to improve their quality of life?

4. What innovative ideas for community centres have you seen elsewhere, that could be included here, to support community needs?

5. What history, physical and/or social characteristics of Burke Mountain do you feel should be considered in the development of this project?

6. We’ve identified some gaps in survey data (i.e. certain demographic respondents, children and youth). How do you think we can fill these gaps?

7. Are there any other groups that you think we should reach out to in order to inform the design of the facility?

8. In the context of the community centre, what else do you think we should know or explore?

Wesbild Contributes $5-Million to Future Burke Mountain Sports Field

Wesbild is proud to announce that we have made a contribution of $5 Million towards the future construction of a lit artificial turf field at the future Secondary/Middle School site on Burke Mountain.

In addition to the field, we have also committed to donating and servicing the land for the six-acre Marigold Elementary School site in the Partington Creek neighbourhood.

The future joint middle/secondary school and park site is viewed as a top priority by the City of Coquitlam and School District No. 43, given the continuing growth in the Burke Mountain area. The Secondary School is in the planning stages, and will feature innovative green technology.

The park component will be funded through Wesbild’s $5 Million contribution, plus an additional $3.8 Million from development revenues through the City of Coquitlam’s Development Cost Charges paid by developers.

Click here to read the official Press Release.

Resident Survey for Potential Northeast Coquitlam Rec Centre

Have your say in the planning of a new Rec Centre on Burke Mountain!

Until December 8, the City of Coquitlam is looking for resident input on recreation needs and interests for consideration toward the future recreation centre in northeast Coquitlam. The recreation centre is anticipated to be open by 2026, and expected to include a variety of programs and uses.

Click Here for more information, and to answer the survey.

Wesbild Presenting At NECRA Meeting

Join Wesbild this week at the Northeast Coquitlam Ratepayers Monthly Meeting.  We will be updating the community on Wesbild’s progress, plans and answering any questions you may have.

WHEN Thursday, November 21 | 7:00pm

WHERE Victoria Hall | 3435 Victoria Drive

For more information, e-mail necoqra@gmail.com

The Northeast Coquitlam Ratepayer’s Association is a local, community based group that looks out for the interests of the populace of the Northeast Coquitlam and Burke Mountain areas. They meet the third Thursday of every month at 7:00pm at Victoria Hall.

Little Free Libraries Re-Installed

Wesbild is happy to announce the re-installment of Burke Mountain’s two Little Free Libraries.

Little Free Libraries are community book exchanges that allow people to freely exchange or donate books “in the spirit of community sharing.” The non-profit organization has set up exchanges in 91 countries around the world. With a “Take a book, Leave a Book” attitude, the Little Free Libraries at Burke Mountain are a great way to share books you’re finished reading with your neighbours, and pick up something new! 

The libraries were taken down in protective measure after 11 little lending libraries throughout Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam were vandalized or destroyed. However, the vandals have been caught and the community will once again be able to enjoy the Millard Orchard Park and Galloway Park libraries.

The libraries will continue to be stocked with a wide array of books that everyone can enjoy.

If you have any questions or concerns about the libraries, please contact Laura Broomfield at 604.484.3898.

Smiling Creek Activity Centre

Did you know Smiling Creek Activity Centre on Burke Mountain has drop-in sports and fitness classes 6 days/week? Pickleball, yoga, soccer and more.

The Smiling Creek Activity Centre is located in the Smiling Creek Elementary School located at 3456 Princeton Avenue.  This brand new centre is set to host a variety of drop in sports, fitness programs and family programming.

Whether it be arts and crafts for your little ones, drop in volleyball for the teenagers or the 19 plus drop in basketball the City of Coquitlam is providing a wide range of fun activities right here on Burke Mountain.   All of the currently planned activities can be found in the City of Coquitlam guide below.

New Programming Options at Smiling Creek Activity Centre

Smiling Creek Elementary School is not only open for the 2018/2019 school year, but the Smiling Creek Activity Centre (located within the school) has many recreation programs available through the City of Coquitlam!

The activity centre will provide recreation programming during the evenings and weekends in the school’s gymnasium, multi-purpose room, sport courts, playgrounds and other facilities.

See a full list of available programs in the City of Coquitlam’s special edition Smiling Creek Guide.

Registration for programs at Smiling Creek starts Sept. 5, 2018 at 12AM for online registration, and 8:30AM for phone and in person registration.

There is also a free Family Nights on Burke program – through the City of Coquitlam and the Coquitlam Public Library – that offers crafts, games and active play in the gym, and a bedtime story.

 Thursdays, Oct. 11 – Dec. 13
6 – 8PM

New Little Free Libraries

This week, Wesbild revamped Burke Mountain’s two Little Free Libraries with a new larger design and refreshed book supply! Burke Mountain has been home to the two libraries since 2015, with one located in Millard Orchard Park, and the other in Galloway Park.

With the new book supply, whether you’re looking for a thriller, a romantic novel, or even a children’s book, the libraries will have what you’re looking for. And the best part of all, its free! Just be sure to “Take a Book, Leave a Book”, as your contributions are much appreciated!

If you have any questions or concerns about the libraries, please contact Laura Broomfield at 604.484.3898.